Mediation & Alternative Dispute Resolution


New findings about mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes give insight about their effectiveness and application in legal systems around the world.

A more complete list of research report about divorce, remarriage and stepfamilies published in 2015 or between 2010-2015.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Kaspiew, R., Moloney, L., Dunstan, J., & De Maio, J. (2015). Family law court filings 2004-05 to 2012-13 (Research Report No. 30). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Read full publication

Trends in family law court filings over a nine year period provide insight about the impact of the court reforms that encouraged greater use of non-court mechanisms for resolving parenting disputes.  Results indicate a substantial decrease in court filings regarding child issues.  This report extends the findings of the 2009 study Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms.

Mediation

SABĂU, D., & SANDU, C. (2015)  Mediation: Styles Used in Cases Concerning Divorce. Conflict Studies Quarterly, 55.  http://www.csq.ro/wp-content/uploads/CSQ-12.pdf#page=55

In Romania alternative dispute resolution for conflicts between divorcing, separated or divorced couples have expanded rapidly.  This work looks at the mediation process and how mediators think about their work.

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Legal Issues in divorce


Improving how we handle divorce disputes remains an important area of research and policy analysis.

Murphy, J. C., & Singer, J. B. (2015).  Divorced from reality:  Rethinking family dispute resolution.  New York, NY:  NYU Press.  ISBN: 9780814708934

Law professors outline ways to improve our policies and procedures to help families manage their disputes in more effective ways.  They suggest moving dispute resolution services out of the court and into the community, involving children more effectively in the decision-making process and insuring more time and involvement with both parents in post-divorce parenting plans.

Li, K. (2015). What He Did Was Lawful?: Divorce Litigation and Gender Inequality in China. Law & Policy. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lapo.12034

An examination of gender inequality in court proceedings before and during the divorce process.  This study examines the China legal system.

Family Court Review, July issue, 2015


Topics:  peacemaking, family law, alternative dispute resolution, religious values,

Mosten, F. S. (2015). Peacemaking for Divorcing Families: Editor’s Introduction. Family Court Review, 53(3), 357-360. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12156

Burgess, H., & Burgess, G. (2015). Applying the Strategies of International Peacebuilding to Family Conflicts: What Those Involved in Family Disputes Can Learn from the Efforts of Peacebuilders Working to Transform War-Torn Societies. Family Court Review, 53(3), 449-455. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12166

Cloke, K. (2015). Designing Heart-Based Systems to Encourage Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Divorcing Families. Family Court Review, 53(3), 418-426. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12163

Coates, C. A. (2015). The Parenting Coordinator as Peacemaker and Peacebuilder. Family Court Review, 53(3), 398-406. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12161

Daicoff, S. S. (2015). Families in Circle Process: Restorative Justice in Family Law. Family Court Review, 53(3), 427-438. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12164

Gamache, S. J. (2015). Family Peacemaking with an Interdisciplinary Team: A Therapist’s Perspective. Family Court Review, 53(3), 378-387. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12159

Howe, W. J., & Scully, E. P. (2015). Redesigning the Family Law System to Promote Healthy Families. Family Court Review, 53(3), 361-370. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12157

Lewis, H. T. T. (2015). Helping Families by Maintaining a Strong Well-Funded Family Court that Encourages Consensual Peacemaking: A Judicial Perspective. Family Court Review, 53(3), 371-377. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12158

Lund, M. E. (2015). The Place for Custody Evaluations in Family Peacemaking. Family Court Review, 53(3), 407-417. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12162

Marx, J. A. (2015). The Role of Western Religious Values in Peacemaking for Divorcing Families. Family Court Review, 53(3), 388-397. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12160

Morgillo, L. (2015). Do Not Make their Trauma Your Trauma: Coping with Burnout as a Family Law Attorney. Family Court Review, 53(3), 456-473. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12167

Mosten, F. S. (2015). Unbundled Services to Enhance Peacemaking for Divorcing Families. Family Court Review, 53(3), 439-448. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12165

Nobile, J. J. (2015). Adoptions Gone Awry: Enhancing Adoption Outcomes Through Postadoption Services and Federal and State Laws Imposing Criminal Sanctions for Private Internet Rehoming. Family Court Review, 53(3), 474-486. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12168

Prisco, R. (2015). Parental Involvement in Juvenile Sex Offender Treatment: Requiring a Role as Informed Supervisor. Family Court Review, 53(3), 487-503. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12169

Schepard, A. (2015). July 2015. Family Court Review, 53(3), 355-356. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/fcre.12155

Divorce Research Update– intimate partner violence, 8-3-15


Intimate partner violence in the divorce process remains a complicated situation for courts, families and those who care about them.  By understanding variations in intimate partner violence and the patterns of the divorce process can provide a better foundation for helping these families.

A more complete list of research report about divorce, remarriage and stepfamilies published in 2015 or between 2010-2015.

Gulliver, P., & Fanslow, J. L. (2015). The Johnson Typologies of Intimate Partner Violence: An Investigation of Their Representation in a General Population of New Zealand Women. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 25-46. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037051

Hardesty, J. L., Hans, J. D., Haselschwerdt, M. L., Khaw, L., & Crossman, K. A. (2015). The Influence of Divorcing Mothers’ Demeanor on Custody Evaluators’ Assessment of Their Domestic Violence Allegations. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 47-70. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2014.943451

Kaplan, P. L. (2015). Comment on Kleinman and Walker’s “Protecting the Psycotherapy Clients From the Shadow of the Law: A Call for the Revision of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Guidelines for Court-Involved Therapy”. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 93-95. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037053

Khaw, L., & Hardesty, J. L. (2015). Perceptions of Boundary Ambiguity in the Process of Leaving an Abusive Partner. Family Process, 54(2), 327-343. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/famp.12104

Lambert, J. E. (2015). Introduction to the Special Issue on Attitudes and Current Research Concerning Intimate Partner Violence: Issues for Child Custody. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 1-3. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1039918

Meier, J. S. (2015). Johnson’s Differentiation Theory: Is It Really Empirically Supported? Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 4-24. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037054

Saunders, D. G. (2015). Research Based Recommendations for Child Custody Evaluation Practices and Policies in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 71-92. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037052

Divorce & Same-Sex Couples


Now that same-sex marriage is legal, what do we know about divorce among same-sex partners?

Aarskaug Wiik, K., Seierstad, A., & Noack, T. (2014). Divorce in Norwegian Same‐Sex Marriages and Registered Partnerships: The Role of Children.Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(5), 919-929.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jomf.12132/full

Rosenfeld, M. J. (2014). Couple Longevity in the Era of Same‐Sex Marriage in the United States. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(5), 905-918.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jomf.12141/full

Trandafir, M. (2015). Legal recognition of same-sex couples and family formation. Demography, 52(1), 113-151.  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13524-014-0361-2

 

 

Parental Alienation– An Update 2015


Parental alienation continues to be a disputed concept among researchers, clinicians and legal experts.  I have updated my list of research articles on this topic (2010-2015).

For a thoughtful history of the study and controversies regarding parental alienation see:

Rand, D. C. (2011). Parental alienation critics and the politics of science. American Journal of Family Therapy, 39(1), 48-71. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01926187.2010.533085

Shared Parenting Guidelines: Consensus or Not?


There has been considerable debate among scientists about the best practice and policy regarding guidelines for shared parenting.  During the past few years there have been several reviews of the research evidence regarding shared parenting following divorce and the recommendations don’t always agree.  There are two new reports each with an array of scientists and practitioners.

So here is one interesting note.  Only Richard Warshak is on both lists.

One of these reports, authored by Richard Warshak, titled, “Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children:  A Consensus Report” includes the endorsement of 110 scientists and practitioners.  In the introduction he writes,

“One hundred and ten researchers and practitioners have read, provided comments, and offered revisions to this article.  They endorse the article’s conclusions and recommendations, although they may not agree with every detail of the literature review” (Warshak, 2014, p. 46).

This is an impressive list of many of the major scientists who study divorce issues.  This list includes 79 professionals who list universities or research centers as their primary affiliation and 31 professional in clinical practice.  So what about the people who are not on the list:  There are a number of prominent scientists who are not on the list.  Were they contacted?  Did they refuse because they disagreed with the recommendations or were too busy to respond?  Perhaps they just didn’t like the whole idea of “endorsing” these conclusions.  Nevertheless, none of the other participants who compiled the following report and whose names are listed below are on Warshak’s “consensus” article, why not?  At least one answer is that there is not quite the consensus that Warshak presents.

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts convened a task force to explore research regarding shared parenting.  In contrast to Warshak’s “consensus” view, the task force report provides various points of view, the disagreements and the research questions that need more study.  (This is the original unpublished Task Force Report.)  The most recent version of the report was made public in Family Court Review, April 2014. The editors write, 

“The Think Tank Report describes a series of research-based key points on which the multidisciplinary think tank participants agreed. Nonetheless, that agreement did not extend to how the consensus should be enacted into legislative or judicial policy to resolve contested parenting disputes” (Emery & Schepard, 2014).

Both of these reports are important to read and to study.  Perhaps the most important part of the Task Force report is the list of questions that still need more study.  There is still much to understand in order to provide guidance to practitioners and policymakers.

So here is the list of the AFCC Task Force Members:

Convenors: 

  • Arnold Shienvold, Ph.D. (Co-Chair),
  • Peter Salem, M.A. (Co-Chair),
  • Marsha Kline Pruett, Ph.D., M.S.L. (Co-Reporter),
  • J. Herbie DiFonzo, J.D., Ph.D. (Co-Reporter),
  • Bernie Mayer, Ph.D. (Facilitator),
  • Loretta M. Frederick, J.D. (Steering Committee),
  • Hon. Ramona Gonzales (Steering Committee),
  • Stacey Platt, J.D. (Steering Committee), and
  • Kyle D. Pruett, M.D. (Steering Committee).

Participants:

  • Nicholas Bala, J.D.,
  • Lawrence Jay Braunstein, J.D.,
  • Margaret F. Brinig, J.D.,
  • Bud Dale, J.D., Ph.D.,
  • Robin Deutsch, Ph.D.,
  • Hon. Grace G. Dickler,
  • Leslie Drozd, Ph.D.,
  • Robert Emery, Ph.D.,
  • William V. Fabricius, Ph.D.,
  • Hon. William Fee,
  • Jonathan Gould, Ph.D.,
  • Linda Fieldstone, M.Ed.,
  • Hon. Dianna Gould-Saltman,
  • Grace M. Hawkins, LCSW,
  • Leslye Hunter, LMFT,
  • Janet R. Johnston, Ph.D.,
  • Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D.,
  • Jennifer McIntosh, Ph.D.,
  • Anne Menard,
  • Irwin Sandler, Ph.D.,
  • Andrew Schepard, J.D.,
  • Richard A. Warshak, Ph.D., and
  • Justice R. James Williams.

Invited but unable to attend:

  • Chief Justice Diana Bryant (Family Court, Australia),
  • Jean Clinton, M.D.,
  • Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis (Colo. Sup. Ct., ret.),
  • Michael Lamb, Ph.D.,
  • Robert Marvin, Ph.D., and
  • Leslie Ellen Shear, J.D.